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LEE CUESTA reveals his rare ability to seemingly view the future – based upon the logical conclusions of his own research – with the appearance of his novel, Eyes of the Ocelot. Cuesta combines the skills of a storyteller and investigative reporter to penetrate the historical, social and spiritual dimensions of this convincing tale.

As a bilingual writer and journalist who worked in Mexico City, the author has been published extensively in periodicals such as Northwest, Eternity, World Pulse, Indian Life, Interlit, The Fresno Bee, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Christian Life, Prisma, El Faro and Apuntes Pastorales. To date, Cuesta has published more than eighty (80) articles and other pieces. The articles receive international response from readers. So significant are his articles, in fact, that they are often reprinted or adapted for other magazines. For example, his three-part series exposing the religious persecution against evangelicals in Chiapas was first published by World Pulse. This series was subsequently reprinted in Indian Life, an international newspaper based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Another article, written in Spanish for the Mexican magazine El Faro, was adapted for the international magazine Apuntes Pastorales, and then reprinted again in Consejero Bíblico.

Cuesta’s research, including on-site interviews and investigation in the Mexican state of Chiapas, spans ten years. In fact, his first article on the troubling situation in Chiapas appeared in January, 1994, where he reported two recent events in which approximately 350 evangelical Christians of the Tzotzil ethnic group “were brutally beaten, put in jail and expelled from their communities of origin, taking away all their belongings and burning some of the houses,” quoting one Mexican leader. All this occurred in spite of a new religious freedom law, adopted in 1992, which ostensibly guaranteed that each individual shall “not be the object of discrimination, compulsion or hostility as a result of his religious beliefs.”

Cuesta’s second article about this issue appeared on May 5, 1995, where he pointed out that “Mexico’s preoccupation with the Zapatista guerrilla army, both by politicians and the media, has overshadowed the other side of the Chiapas crisis: the 20,000 to 30,000 believers in Chiapas exiled ‘for professing the Protestant religion.’” As a result of the persecution in the Chiapas highlands, several refugee settlements have sprung up around the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

In early 1998, at the end of a trip that combined airplane, bus and taxi, Cuesta found himself in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico, the renowned “headquarters” of such persecution, where unauthorized cameras are not permitted. He was investigating the religious intolerance against evangelicals in Mexico’s southernmost state. Cuesta also acquired firsthand experience by traveling to both San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, where he conducted on- site investigation and interviews. As a result of this trip, his three-part series entitled “Martyrs and Exiles in Southern Mexico” was published in World Pulse, then a part of the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois, in June and July of 1998. Cuesta provided not only the articles, but also the photographs. You can read this three-part series on this website. Soon afterward, Indian Life, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, reprinted these three articles.

As a culmination of his work, Cuesta published a book, 379 pages, about the religious persecution and struggle for autonomy in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Originally titled Once: Once, which translates in English: “11:11,” the revised book is being released with the new title, Eyes of the Ocelot. Congressman Tom Tancredo responded in a handwritten note: “Many thanks. Great read!”

Cuesta received his first international assignment even before graduating with his degree in journalism. He traveled to Thessaloniki, Greece, for a three-month internship, during the summer of 1978. A major earthquake struck the city five days later. So his focus shifted to the Greek Evangelical Church Camp in the village of Leptokarya on the Aegean shore. From there, he wrote several reports – about both the ministry and also the earthquake – which were published in Cable magazine. While living in Leptokarya, he made trips to Athens, Philippi and Corinth. As a university student, Cuesta was awarded membership in the Kappa Tau Alpha (journalistic honor) Society; received two scholarships; and also was featured in The National Dean’s List.

Then he lived and worked in and near Mexico City, writing regularly for World Pulse, including multiple front- page stories, such as “Overcoming the Void,” which was adapted and reprinted in InterLit, published by Cook Communications. In Mexico he published a quarterly newsletter called Desafío Transcultural, which received intercontinental response, and was highly influential among its readership throughout Central America. He also wrote in Spanish the major article entitled “Las Seis Marcas Distintivas del Discipulado Verdadero y Práctico,” initially published in El Faro, and then reprinted in Apuntes Pastorales.

In addition, he participated as a member of the Asociación Cristiana de Periodismo in Mexico City. Cuesta also has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. As he lived and worked in Mexico, he traveled broadly throughout most of the Mexican republic’s 37 states, usually by way of public transportation, with engagements in cities such as Veracruz, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Morelia, Querétaro, Matamoros- Brownsville, and Acapulco, as well as several trips to Guatemala.

During the past ten years, Cuesta has been a regular writer for InSite magazine – including several cover stories – published by the Christian Camp and Conference Association. Some of these articles may be viewed by connecting to his companion sites using the drop-down menu on this website.